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Remembering Patricia Rooney

Today is Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL’s biggest day, but this year the league is also mourning the passing of Patricia Rooney, the wife of late Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney.

Patricia Rooney receives an award for her advisory board service by Majors Bob and Lynette Reel, former divisional commanders in the Western Pennsylvania Division.

Patricia Rooney never forgot her roots in north Pittsburgh and was a huge supporter of The Salvation Army.

Her son, Steelers President Art Rooney II, mentioned The Salvation Army in a statement announcing her death at age 88.

“My mother meant so much to not only all of us in the family, but she gave so much of her time and energy helping those in need in the Pittsburgh community,” he said. “She will leave a lasting impression on so many people and organizations in our area, especially The Salvation Army and many organizations in the North Side of Pittsburgh, where my parents called home.”

The Salvation Army’s Western Pennsylvania Division set up a memorial fund and said the division “sends its prayers and condolences to the Rooney family as Pittsburgh mourns the loss of a wonderful Christian woman, Patricia Rooney.”

The division’s online post described Rooney as a “dedicated supporter and donor of The Salvation Army,” as well as an active life member of the Greater Pittsburgh Advisory Board. Rooney had also served on The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board.


A 30–year partnership

“She was an incredible partner with The Salvation Army for over 30 years,” Major Philip Lloyd, the chief secretary in the Western Pennsylvania Division, told WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh. “The Salvation Army is able to do a lot of things, but we could never do the things we do on our own. We count on partnerships with other agencies and with individuals such as Mrs. Rooney.”

Rooney also helped launch Project Bundle-Up, a local program that helps provide winter coats and other outerwear for low-income children and seniors. The program is a joint effort between The Salvation Army and WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh.


Loving the community

Hines Ward, a former star and wide receiver who won two Super Bowls with the Steelers, was among those who lauded Rooney on social media. He credited Rooney with getting him involved with The Salvation Army.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Rooney family for the loss of Mrs. Patricia Rooney,” Hines wrote. “She taught me the meaning of giving back to the community through partnering with The Salvation Army. I’m so grateful for our time together. We will miss you dearly.”

by Robert Mitchell

Donate to Rooney’s memorial fund here.

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